Six alternative presents for your extremely picky loved one
We can spend hours trying to find the perfect gift for our loved ones. The process can be gruelling: physically shopping, incessantly scrolling and then (eventually) giving in and asking for recommendations from a friend. Enter: us, the friend. We’ve curated a list of six alternative gifts for the one who has it all. They’re probably picky, definitely choosy and in some cases, already have everything they could ever need… So, here are some ideas for when it’s the thought that counts most of all.
Looking to foliage for gift inspo is never a bad idea. And, although it may seem a bit generic to send flowers, there are plenty of ways to change up this traditional favour. 1. Press or dry them. Pressing flowers is a great way to preserve a memory or remind a friend of a special time you’ve shared, if you have a few party favours left from their wedding or have picked some fresh, all you have to do is hang them upside down in a warm space, removing all moisture for a rustic looking bunch. Or try the more traditional method using heavy books to press your flowers and add them to gift cards or wrapping for your loved one. 2. Choosing to gift paper flowers is a great sustainable alternative and a fun craft wrapped into one. With a bit of searching on Instagram you can find some beautiful suppliers or try it out yourself with a few paints. To find out more about getting started, check out our beginner’s guide.
Sometimes the secret to a good gift is giving someone something they truly care about. So, if you know of a cause close to your friend’s heart, a great gift could be a charitable donation of some kind. There are lots of ways to give back at this time of year: donate a monetary sum to charity on someone else's behalf, help those in need on a monthly basis with subscription services like Bankuet and Sharethemeal, or even offer up your own time (and maybe theirs too!) for some volunteering. Many charities tackling issues of homelessness and food poverty amp up their volunteering schedules in the lead up to Christmas – you can check out local volunteering days for our charity partner Crisis here.
Let be honest, we’ve all forgotten a birthday and opted for a handmade alternative in a time of need. And in the spirit of embracing our side hustles, we’re up for getting a little crafty. One option that offers particular warming potential – and an extra personal touch – is picking up some yarn and knitting your loved one a gift from scratch. There are plenty of simple and small treats you can create by knitting or crocheting, from interior accessories like coasters and tea cosies to cosy winter essentials like a new hat, pair of socks or seasonal scarf! It may seem a little daunting, but as knitting expert and founder of Loop London Susan Cropper told us recently, “it’s really the thought that counts. No one is going to notice a few missing stitches, they’ll be more impressed you spent the time on it in the first place.” Check out Susan’s tips and tricks in our interview, and while you’re there, why not try Loop's beginner’s pattern and attempt your first pair of socks?
Sometimes the simplest of gestures hold the most sentiment. And, what could be more sentimental than a handwritten letter? In a rebellion against the emails, texts and instant messages that fill our days, the good old-fashioned letter is having a renaissance – and we’re excited to roll out the scroll this season. It could be a few thoughtful words of thanks or a rambling declaration of love, but either way, putting pen to paper and noting down what you love most about your favourite person is a quick, easy way to show your gratitude. Plus, it's a guaranteed tear-jerker if you get it right…
Time is something we often feel we don’t have enough of, especially as we head towards the busiest period of the season. Which is why sometimes, it can be exactly what someone needs – even if they don’t know it yet. If you have a friend or family member who is often rushed off their feet, this could be a fantastic way to show them you care. Giving the gift of time can look like; cooking a meal, running errands, offering to organise or help out at home, babysitting or simply taking them out for dinner. We’re all busy during the festive season and offering up some time to help someone out can mean a lot more than a physical gift!
What could be a better gift than lifelong memories? Yes, unwrapping something luxe under the tree does have a certain appeal, but if you’re someone who prefers to spend more quality time with your nearest and dearest, giving them an experience you can share together is priceless (not to mention, it’s a cheeky gift for you too!). Know a theatre nerd? Grab tickets to an immersive experience like Punch Drunk in London or get in the festive mood with a local Panto this Christmas. Have an artsy friend? Why not try the four immersive galleries at the Frameless exhibition in Marble Arch. Whatever their niche, whether it’s sports, music or escape room-ing, there are plenty of experiences out there you can personalise to make this gift extra-special!